AVER endorses the Restore Honor to Service Members Act

For Immediate Release       
January 31, 2014

Contact: AVER Public Affairs
Denny Meyer 718 849-5665

 AVER endorses the Restore Honor to Service Members Act
“Act will streamline the discharge upgrade process”

Albuquerque, NM – American Veterans for Equal Rights supports and endorses the Restore Honor to Service Members Act, introduced in the Senate on January 30th by Senators Shatz (D HI) and Gillibrand (D NY), following the bill’s introduction in the House of Representatives last Summer by Representatives Rangel (D NY) and Pocan (D WI).  The act will streamline the discharge upgrade process for those service members discharged “due to homosexuality” since World War II, both before and during the DADT era.

AVER was consulted during the initial development of the bill.  As noted in the Senators’ press release below, AVER has long advocated that, “LGBT veterans who served and sacrificed in silence during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as those who served before and during ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ in the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan, deserve to see their service recognized and honored at long last.”

AVER President Steve Loomis (LTC Ret.) stated, “It is extremely important that this act be passed to provide correction of less than honorable discharges given during and before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy.  Now is time to heal the damages that an ill conceived DADT policy did to many of our patriot GLBT veterans.  It is the logical completion of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Streamlined procedures for changing the characterization, narrative and reenlistment codes for discharges for homosexuality will be announced following the passage for this bill.  Corrections are necessary to avoid inaccurate assumptions by potential employers or veterans benefits agencies when dealing with GLBT veterans.

Senator Schatz’ Press Release, including AVER’s commentary and a summary of the bill, may be seen at:http://www.schatz.senate.gov/press-releases/schatz-gillibrand-seek-justice-for-service-members-discharged-due-to-sexual-orientation